What does it mean to be a Christian? Seriously, what is the real bottom line true meaning of following in the footsteps of Jesus? Is being a Christian like an entitlement program? By professing Jesus do we receive protection from evil, deliverance from trials or the healing of our maladies? Do we receive a promise of an abundant and prosperous life? Or, is being a Christian more like a “getting whipped into shape” work and endurance program where we lose our own will, learn to do without and have to somehow rejoice in tribulation every day of our difficult lives? Is the price of true Christianity a simple acknowledgment of Jesus being in your life or is it a “sell all that we have and change what we are” mentality? What DOES it cost to be a true Christian? Is it a price we are willing to pay?
The question of the personal cost of Christianity has never been a popular question even from the very inception of discipleship. Personal cost did not seem to be on the minds of the twelve Apostles nearly as much as the question of the rewards of Christianity. These twelve, the very first and only hand-picked followers of Jesus, are recorded in the Gospels as having several conversations regarding their individual placement and stature in the coming kingdom of Christ. The debates of who would be greatest in the kingdom or who would occupy the honored positions at Jesus’ right and left hand were clearly on their minds. For them those debates were about the results of loyalty and love for the Master, but for Jesus those debates were about an opportunity to show them their immature perspective and the necessarily difficult path to maturity and true discipleship.
So Jesus taught them. Each time the subject came up he responded with lessons of servitude and giving. He told them how their lives as followers were not to be like the lives of those involved in other earthly endeavors, where the leaders were hailed and lauded and always looked up to. No, their lives would be different – their lives would be contrary, for they would be reflections of his life. Jesus’ life was filled with serving, always doing the will of God instead of his own, always speaking the words of God instead of his own and always seeking the glory of God instead of his own.
What this tells us is there really is a price to pay for being a true footstep follower of Jesus. It is a heavy price, and yet on the other hand there are many promises of peace, strength and joy along the way. What does a life look like that merges these two ends of the spectrum? Check out our October 17, 2016 podcast, “Is the Price of Christianity Too High?” and follow along with us as we piece together what Jesus said would be required of his followers. If being a Christian is important to you, this can really help to clarify your expectations and nudge you another step closer to that God-honoring Christian life that you are looking for!
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